This Day in History: May 7

(Photo by David Hume Kennerly/ Getty Images)

On this day, May 7 …

1975: President Gerald R. Ford formally declares an end to the “Vietnam era.” In Ho Chi Minh City — formerly Saigon — the Viet Cong celebrates its takeover.

Also on this day:

  • 1789: America’s first inaugural ball is held in New York in honor of President George Washington, who had taken the oath of office a week earlier.
  • 1915: A German U-boat torpedoes and sinks the British liner RMS Lusitania off the southern coast of Ireland, killing 1,198 people, including 128 Americans, out of the nearly 2,000 on board.
  • 1939: Germany and Italy announce a military and political alliance known as the Rome-Berlin Axis.
  • 1945: Germany signs an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims, France, ending its role in World War II.
  • 1963: The United States launches the Telstar 2 communications satellite.
  • 1984: A $180 million out-of-court settlement is announced in the Agent Orange class-action suit brought by Vietnam veterans who say they were injured by exposure to the defoliant.
  • 1998: The parent company of Mercedes-Benz agrees to buy Chrysler Corp. for more than $37 billion.
  • 2004: Army Pfc. Lynndie England, shown in photographs smiling and pointing at naked Iraqi prisoners, is charged by the military with assaulting the detainees and conspiring to mistreat them.

  • 2009: Former Illinois police Sgt. Drew Peterson is indicted for murder in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
  • 2009: Mickey Carroll, one of the last surviving Munchkins from the “The Wizard of Oz,” dies in Crestwood, Mo., at age 89.
  • 2018: New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announces that he would be resigning from office after he is accused of physical violence by women with whom he had been involved. (Schneiderman had been a high-profile advocate for women’s issues.) 

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